This article is to transmit to you just a few of the coaching lessons we have recorded from our long association and daily work with Russian, U.S., and World Champion tumbling coaches.
ALWAYS TUMBLE ON A LINE!!!
It is hard to overestimate the extra tumbling power that is generated from tumbling in a straight line. It is also amaziing at how easy, effective and automatic learning to tumble straight becomes when gymnasts receive immediate internal feedback from just looking at whether they always land on the line during their tumbling passes.
Spots for Positioning and Safety Only
Spotting is done only for the purpose of correct technique positioning. All the basic lead up progressions for any skill being done, even if spotted, should already have been mastered. This is the safest and most technically efficient method of coaching.
Use Training Tools Fully
Use pits, trampoline, tumble tramp systems and rod tumbling floors to allow increased practice turns and to be easier on the body.
Tumble Onto Stacked Mats
Tumble up. Tumble high, uphill, up onto mats and up onto crash mats with skills and timers. Mats can be stacked up to head height.
Step By Step Progression
All progression should be a step or a half a step at a time for twisting. Master the earlier progressions and then add a half, then another half, then add another somie.
One step per day means over 300 steps per year and over 1,000 steps in three years. That’s tremendous progress. But even when gymnasts may seem to be able to progress faster, one step per day is best.
Basics Review Every Day
Practice starts with basic skills (tumbling starts with rolls, cartwheels and round-offs even at the highest levels) and technical corrections are made as needed before moving to the next progression.
Add-On A New Step Every Day
As soon as a tumbling skill is mastered, add a flip-flop out of the skill, and then add a somie out to further develop mastery.
The correct technique for twisting must be applicable to the highest levels of tumbling difficulty. You do not want to have to relearn twisting technique to do a triple twisting double layout or for every new skill you want to learn.
Universal Twist Wrap Technique
The correct arm technique is a full extension lift, then drop both arms into a symmetrical wrap with hands together in front of the chest. This one technique works on triple twist and full-in, full-outs so yo don’t waste training time on multiple techniques.
The correct body position in rotating single somersaults in layout is hollow body. Rotation in double layouts and even in pike and tuck is a subtle blend of arch-hollow.
In Each Daily Practice
When you reach the highest level of your tumbling, do it until you do it correctly or make maximum progress. This last phase would approximate the pre meet warm-up – warm up progressions, timers, one good one in practice and one good one in the meet.